Friday, 7 January 2011


It’s a futuristic 1994, and the Worldvision Song Festival is underway. Alphie and Bibi travel from their native Canada to participate for their country with a spirited ballad, only to be met with consternation from the sizeable audience, who have had their expectations raised by the glitzy stage histrionics of the BIM, a heartless music corporation which will stop at nothing to win. Alphie and Bibi soon find themselves subsumed by BIM’s record label, and for a while Bibi rides the crest of celebrity. Learning the sinister truth about BIM, Alphie tries his hardest to liberate Bibi from the clutches of BIM’s leader Mr. Boogalow.

With a central concept based on a Eurovision Song Contest of the future, one has to expect an overdose of camp from The Apple, and by golly it delivers. From the glittery triangle appliqués to the abundance of gold, The Apple appears to be picking up on the extravagances missed out on by previous musicals, even outkitsching Rocky Horror Picture Show in its caricatures of the entertainment business. The allegory of sin is obvious but restrained, the apple motif only whipped out for a particularly saucy number, although the film’s conclusion takes on an overtly religious angle which almost substracts from the fun. Regardless of one’s susceptibility to this sort of film, The Apple is very impressive for its sheer scale and design, and it’s a shame it still hasn’t quite had its day. Look out for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos from Miriam Margolyes and Yma Sumac.

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